For those of us lucky enough to experience all four seasons, winter tends to bring about the starkest of changes to our environment. While we humans fight the colder months with thicker jackets and hotter soup, nature has its own way of dealing with the bitter conditions that envelop New England a few months a year.
Nasketucket Bay State Reservation on Brandt Island Road in Mattapoisett offers hikers a chance to see how nature still thrives despite the cold. On Sunday, January 20, area outdoor enthusiasts were invited to take part in a hike around the reservation, led by a member of the Department of Conservation and Recreation. The expedition focused on identifying different plant species and how they react to the winter months.
“Today, we’re going to talk about how to find them when they don’t have their leaves,”said Amy Wilmot of the DCR.
As an interpreter coordinator, Wilmot has led several hikes around the state, many at Nasketucket.
“Personally, this is one of my favorite parks,” she said.
The hike kicked off with about thirty in attendance, many from the surrounding area like Lakeville and the Cape, a mixture of enthusiasts and experts.
The hiking trail started at the bridle path, snaked through the salt marsh path to the beach, then back into the woods. Along the way, Wilmot stopped to point out different plants, such as princess pine and holly, and explained their survival traits and which animals pose predatory problems.
“I’ve gone on a few walks with Amy in the past and she’s very knowledgeable,” said Richard Stabile of Plymouth, Mass.
Stabile has a forestry degree and works as a seasonal park guide in Quincy. The last time he was at Nasketucket was about five years ago and he was excited about what the group would discover.
“I’m pretty good with woodland botany. I’m looking to have a good time with this group of people and to learn a lot of stuff about the park,” he said.
The Nasketucket Bay State Reservation offers over 200 acres of trails and shoreline for hiking and is open to the public every day.
“It’s a beautiful property and we want people to know it’s here,” said Wilmot.
By Eric Tripoli